December 19th, 2013
08:56 PM ET
1 year ago

Peter King: Rand Paul 'disgraced' his office

(CNN) - Rep. Peter King said fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul owes the nation’s top intelligence official an apology after saying he should resign for “lying” to a Senate committee about a controversial surveillance program.

The New York congressman also said that Paul's comparison of National Intelligence Director James Clapper to NSA leaker Edward Snowden is "absolutely disgraceful."

"For Senator Paul to compare that patriot, General Clapper, with someone like Snowden, who is a traitor, who has put American lives at risk - Senator Paul should be ashamed of himself," King said Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

"It's an absolute disgrace. He disgraced his office and he owes General Clapper an apology immediately."

Paul told CNN on Wednesday that public congressional testimony by Clapper last March denying the existence of a sweeping electronic data collection program at the National Security Agency had done more to damage the credibility of the intelligence community than the leaks by Snowden that blew the whistle on the spying initiative.

Rand Paul: Intelligence director should resign

Paul, a Kentucky Republican with strong tea party-backing, and King are both considered likely GOP presidential candidates in 2016.

Clapper apologized to the Senate committee for giving members a "clearly erroneous" answer about the surveillance programs.

Intelligence leaks exposed by Snowden, a former government contractor, revealed that the NSA, indeed, had extensive, classified electronic surveillance of telephone and e-mail records.

Clapper later said he was faced with trying to answer a question about a program that at the time was still classified when explaining the discrepancy in his testimony to Congress and the information that arose from the Snowden leaks.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, seven Republican Senators said Clapper's "willful lie under oath fuels the unhealthy cynicism and distrust that citizens feel toward their government" and compromises Congressional oversight functions.

Responding to the letter, a spokesman for Clapper underscored the previous explanation of his testimony and highlighted his long-standing reputation of honesty.

"DNI Clapper has been testifying before members of Congress for more than two decades and he enjoys a well-earned reputation as a doggedly honest and honorable public servant," said Clapper spokesman Shawn Turner.

"He apologized for the confusion caused by his response and is focused on working with the intelligence committees to increase transparency while protecting critical intelligence sources and methods."

King said these Republicans calling for Clapper’s resignation are part of "the isolationist wing of the party.

A review of NSA surveillance ordered by President Barack Obama and released recommended changes to the surveillance program including greater judicial oversight and more public transparency.


Filed under: Peter King • Rand Paul
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. The Liberal Perspective

    Peter King sure does love the NSA.

    December 20, 2013 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  2. coyoteliberty

    Representative King is an excellent example of everything that is wrong with the Republican Party: A fascist who is willing to sell out the fourth amendment – and likely the entire bill of rights – for political talking points and the illusion of security.

    I usually don't support or vote for Democrats, but whoever is taking Representative King on in the General Election can expect a check from me.

    December 20, 2013 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    In a public hearing clapper is not obliged to reveal " items classified as secret" the FISA court and it activities were set up under Bush and clearly wanting in accurate guidance on what the limits were. the NSA got permission from FISA and the House/Senate oversight committees in secret session could have had the extent of what the NSA were doing if they asked the right questions they did not
    Rands attack on clapper is a disgrace he did what his nation demands of him unlike Snowden and kept secrets.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    December 20, 2013 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  4. nemo0037

    Wait a sec. Look at the facts: James Clapper actually in FACT lied in sworn testimony to the Senate. I saw the video. So what is "disgraceful" about pointing out a fact like that? I mean, sure, 90% of the time, I think Rand Paul IS a disgrace to his state and to the nation, for other reasons. But I give him his due here. Clapper did actually lie in public, on camera, to the Senate. Peter King needs to chill.

    December 20, 2013 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  5. thenakedpolitico

    did the clapper lie? yes! did rand paul call him a liar? yes!...is king now just a tool of the democratic party? yes!

    December 20, 2013 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  6. thenakedpolitico

    did the clapper lie? yes! did rand paul call him a liar? yes! is king now a toy for the democratic party? yes! end of story!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2013 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  7. VicMorrow

    Clapper lied to Congress. That's a crime and Clapper should be doing time in prison for it. Anyone who supports his criminal act is unfit to hold public office. Rep King should resign in disgrace. But he has less honor than Richard Nixon so he will need to be expelled.

    December 20, 2013 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  8. martyblueyes

    Peter King is a traitor ...to the American way. Gota give the guy credit though. When he's wrong, he fights for his wrong. Unfortunately The US needs representatives that are right

    December 20, 2013 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  9. Doug

    Rep. King lashing out at a fellow Senator with whom he will be running against for President who simply spoke the truth about the NSA and Clapper lying? King is the isolationist here and he and his cronies in the Senate need to go the way of the dinosaur.

    December 20, 2013 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  10. Corncop

    How about both of the idiots resign? Get someone in office with "common sense" and the decency God gave a fence post! King could not give a damn about anything unless it gets his face on the news; his friends cushy government contracts; money in his campaign chest (or pocket), or all of the above! I'm sick of all of them!

    December 20, 2013 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  11. coyoteliberty

    I generally don't support Democrats, but whoever runs against King in the General Election can expect a check from me.

    By standing with the continually Lying Clapper over Rand Paul, King has exposed himself as what is wrong with the Republican Party: A statist who is a threat to the fourth amendment and the entire bill of rights. He has to go.

    I stand with Rand Paul. Not always, but in this against this fascist, yes.

    December 20, 2013 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  12. General Clapper?

    And let me guess, his executive assistant was Major K-Tel Records.

    December 20, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  13. ThsIsNotReal22

    Peter King you are nothing but a blustering relic of the past. And you don't know the meaning of the word Patriot so stop using it.

    December 20, 2013 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  14. sundara0000

    This guy is a joke. He is a self admitted liar but thinks they are just picking on him. He needs serious mental help.

    December 20, 2013 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  15. FLGEEMAN

    Immediate impeachment proceedings against Paul Rand should be started. Without delay.

    December 20, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  16. FLGEEMAN

    Immediate impeachment proceedings against Rand Paul should be started. Without delay.

    December 20, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  17. craig

    And now just sit back and watch the GOP implode....muah ha ha ha ha

    December 20, 2013 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  18. The Hof

    In other developments, Sen. Paul's office has issued a press release stating that the Senator "is cautiously optimistic about the 'so-called' benefits of electricity and indoor plumbing."

    December 20, 2013 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  19. Bonechips

    Well of course he did. He is a teapublican after all.

    December 20, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  20. hobbit

    Peter King should resign for he has disgraced his office by showing hate for the freedom of the American People and love of NSA!!!!!!

    December 20, 2013 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  21. 2020

    Rand Paul bite his tongue again? What is new? This man has a brain like a peanut but ambition like a full moon. The only comfort is that he left medicine that save lives. Let him be a fool, naked under the national microscope.

    He won't make a difference to anything. No one takes him seriously. He and Snowdon are the same breed. Lie as a profession.

    December 20, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  22. John

    So Clapper admits to lying and Rand Paul is wrong to call him a lier and that he needs to resign? Of course he could also be charged for lying to congress if Rep King would prefer.

    December 20, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  23. Fred

    What a piece of work this clown Peter King is. I don't know whether I should laugh at him because he is
    such a buffoon and good entertainment, or cry because he is a member of Congress and claims to represent
    any American. He is actually standing there and asking to be lied to ????

    December 20, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  24. Nameplates

    I think it is Mr king that needs to go away

    December 20, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  25. kamarasune

    King is a disgrace and should resign....

    December 20, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
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